Top company by employee – 82 – Bingham McCutchen LLP – Massachusetts US
Industry: Professional Services – Legal
Previous rank: 30
2011 revenue ($ millions): $868
What makes it so great?
Attorneys performed more than 44,000 hours of volunteer work last year; the firm selects one lawyer a year to work exclusively on pro bono matters.
|Bingham McCutchen LLP|
|Headquarters||One Federal Street
|No. of offices||14|
|No. of attorneys||approximately 1,100|
|No. of employees||approximately 2,500|
|Major practice areas||Financial restructuring, securities, litigation, private equity, corporate finance, government affairs|
|Key people||Jay S. Zimmerman (Chairman)|
|Company type||Limited Liability Partnership|
|Slogan||Legal insight. Business instinct.|
Bingham McCutchen LLP is a global law firm with approximately 1,100 attorneys in nine US offices and five international offices. It represents clients in corporate litigation, cross-border restructurings and insolvencies, financing and securities, structured finance and capital markets, government affairs and a wide variety of corporate and technology transactions.
The law firm was named 30th best company to work for in the 2012 Fortune Magazine article, “100 Best Companies to Work For.”This was the eight consecutive year on the list for Bingham McCutchen, which reached 12th in 2010. Bingham McCutchen has also placed among the top 5 in Fortune Magazine‘s ranking of “Top-Paying Companies” every year since 2006, peaking at #1 in 2013, 2009, and 2008. The firm has been awarded similar accolades by the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Business Journal, Orange County Business Journal, Washington Business Journal, Crain’s New York Business, Boston Business Journal, and Hartford Business Journal.
Since 1997, the company has experienced sharp growth in the number of attorneys, offices, and revenues by absorbing other law firms. Bingham McCutchen has offices in Beijing, Boston, Hartford, Hong Kong, Lexington, London, Los Angeles, New York,Orange County, San Francisco, Santa Monica, California, Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. It also offers consulting services through subsidiaries Bingham Consulting and Bingham Strategic Advisors.
In the 1990s, old line Boston-based firm Bingham, Dana & Gould embraced a growth strategy that would transform the firm from a regional heavyweight into a national and then international success story. In 1997, Bingham Dana acquired internationally-focused boutique law firm Marks & Murase with its list of Japanese clients. Bingham Dana opened in New York City with the 25-lawyer team from Marks. Then the next outpost was established in Hartford, Connecticut through a merger with 55-lawyer Hebb & Gitlin, a firm that concentrated on international bankruptcy work. In 2001, Bingham Dana bulked up in New York City through a merger with Richards & O’Neill, a boutique law firm of 55 attorneys known for its litigation and corporate groups. The next year, in 2002, Bingham Dana merged with San Francisco-based law firm McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen to form 800-lawyer strong Bingham McCutchen. McCutchen Doyle brought five offices and a strong litigation and intellectual property focus. In 2003, the firm expanded in Southern California by merging with corporate boutique Riordan & McKinzie. More recently, 2006 saw a merger between Bingham McCutchen and Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, a Washington, D.C.-based firm which brought greater capabilities in the nation’s capital as well as a strong regulatory group. Bingham also launched in Hong Kong that same year. In 2007, the firm acquired Los Angeles litigation shop Alschuler Grossman.
The Tokyo office of Bingham McCutchen is one of the largest law firms in Japan due to its 2007 merger with a domestic law firm headed by Hideyuki Sakai, a top insolvency specialist. Unlike most foreign firms in Japan which have minimal domestic practices, Bingham’s Tokyo office is predominantly staffed by Japanese attorneys and handles domestic matters such as the restructuring of Olympus Corporation, although it has hired a number of foreign attorneys since 2012 in an attempt to strengthen its outbound and cross-border practice and to expand in other legal fields such as intellectual property and investment funds.
Guantanamo captive representation
A team of Bingham attorneys and staff, led by Susan Baker Manning and Sabin Willett, has represented pro bono a dozen Uighur men held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. Bingham has filed and extensively litigated numerous habeas corpus cases on behalf of their Uighur clients, as well as cases under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 that brought to light serious evidentiary and procedural flaws in the 2004-05 Combatant Status Review Tribunals that were used to justify the Uighurs’ ongoing imprisonment. Thus far, six Bingham clients have been released: two to Albania and four to Bermuda.
- Denise Jefferson Casper (judge, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)
- Christopher Cox (former Chairman, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)
- Barry Goode (retired from the firm in 2001 to join state government, and now is a Contra Costa County judge)
- Thurgood Marshall, Jr.
- Richard Riordan (former Mayor of Los Angeles)
- Josiah Spaulding
- Sabin Willett
- Pete Wilson (former Governor of California)
Despite a deep recession which hurt law firms nationwide, the Boston Globe reported that Bingham performed very well financially. In 2009, Bingham’s gross revenues increased 12% and profits per partner increased 2%. Chairman Jay Zimmerman was quoted as saying “We’ve had our best year ever.”
However, despite an increase in revenues, Bingham froze salaries, and in March 2009 laid off 16 attorneys and 29 support staff. A firm-wide memo explained that the layoffs were necessary to protecting the jobs of the more than 2000 remaining employees, a claim that appears at odds with Bingham’s unusually strong performance that year.
- East Palo Alto
- Hong Kong
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Orange County
- San Francisco
- Santa Monica
- Tokyo – joint venture with Japanese law firm of Sakai, Mimura & Aizawa (坂井・三村・相澤法律事務所)
- Washington, D.C.
Bingham McCutchen has made a fifteen-year commitment to provide pro bono legal services to the Harlem Chapter of Say Yes to Education. Bingham attorneys extend their services to the family members of Say Yes students for the duration of the children’s time in school.